Anxiety and Depression are Skyrocketing. Part One

The number of people looking for help with anxiety and depression has skyrocketed.

The State of Florida ranks 35 in the prevalence of mental illness among youth and adults across all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Florida ranks 25 in the prevalence of mental illness among adults and 38 among youth.

Despite these statistics, from a 2021 report by Mental Health America (MHA), Florida ranks 48 in terms of access to mental health care.

Mental Health America (MHA) was founded in 1909 and is the nation’s leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to helping all people achieve wellness by living mentally healthier lives.  

Their 2021 report entitled, “The State of Mental Health in America,” provides a snapshot of mental health status among youth and adults across all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

In 2014, MHA created an Online Screening Program (, a collection of ten free anonymous, confidential and clinically-validated screens that are among the most commonly used mental health screening tools in clinical settings. 

Through September 2020, over six million people have taken a screen, including 1.5 million people from January-September 2020.  This makes it the largest dataset ever collected from a help-seeking population experiencing mental health conditions.

According to this data, from January to September 2020, 77,470 youth reported experiencing frequent suicide ideation, including LGBTQ+ youth.

From April to September 2020, seventy percent reported that one of the top three things contributing to their mental health concerns was loneliness or isolation.

The following data is from 1,560,288 people who took a screen through MHA Screening from January – September, 2020.

Percentages of the 1,560,288 people who took the screening:

Depression: 35%

Anxiety: 20%

Bipolar: 17%

Psychosis: 10%

Youth: 5%

Eating Disorder: 6%

PTSD: 4%

Alcohol or Substance Abuse: 1%

Parent: 1%

With regards to Indian River County, FL the Mental Health Association in Indian River County (MHAIRC), FL., an affiliate of Mental Health America, reported that from April 2020 to June 2021, nearly 40% of individuals seeking same day, walk-in treatment at MHA reported their mental health was negatively affected by COVID. 

From October 2020 through June 2021, MHAIRC served 1,107 unduplicated clients.

For the first six months of 2021 (January to June), compared to the prior six months, walk-in mental health services provided by MHAIRC increased 41% (358 to 504) and their outpatient therapeutic services to youth up to age 18 increased by 53% (93 to 142).

MHAIRC’s holistic approach to care, focused on lifetime health and wellness, continues to meet the care needs of those they serve.

Through evidenced-based interventions rooted in scientific research and delivered with compassion, caring and empathy, MHAIRC empowers people to access the appropriate care to meet their presenting needs and to move forward with reduced symptoms and improved overall functioning. 

MHAIRC is the only mental health care agency in Indian River County (IRC) that operates a Walk-In Counseling Center where IRC residents (children and adults) can receive and immediate health care screening, free of charge, without an appointment. They also have preliminary screenings available on their website at They provide a full range of mental health services.

The MHAIRC also operates three peer-run Drop-In Centers, which provide daily support for adults with severe and persistent mental health issues, open 365 days per year.

MHAIRC believes all people should afforded the opportunity for an improved quality of life through access to quality care, reduced stigma, and increased acceptance within a community that has an informed understanding of mental health issues.  That’s why they are focused on immediate access to mental health care without barriers.

Their Walk-In & Counseling Center is located at 820 37th Place in Vero Beach, FL.

It’s OKAY to Get Help!®

One thought on “Anxiety and Depression are Skyrocketing. Part One

  1. Pingback: Did a School Board Member Minimize Mental Health as a Priority, Indian River County, FL.? | Vero Communiqué

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